Project Information

Guild

CHALLENGE

Unlock growth for a new B Corporation by transforming its perceived and real value.

TRANSFORMATION

Purpose + Brand Transformation

STORY

80% of low-income working adults want to attend school but cannot afford it. That’s why CEO Rachel Romer founded Guild. As a tuition finance company, Guild helps employers pay their employees’ tuition by facilitating those payments.

The new B Corp’s impact delighted everyone. 220% increase in career mobility for participants. 210% improvement in employer retention of its participants. 88% of all participants are first-generation college students.

However, the response among low-income employees was lukewarm. Guild’s executive team struggled to square the strength of their proposition (“tuition-free education!”) with low employee participation rate.

Guild’s problem, though, was a categorical one. Despite 71% of employers offering tuition assistance, only 2% of employees use it. “Tuition-free education,” it turns out, only matters if it’s paired with the right educator. But finding that match is expensive. It takes too much time for working adults to find the right one. And it takes too much money for educators to find the right students. This market friction, economists note, has contributed to America’s sharp decline in socio-economic mobility. (Globally, America slipped to 27th place.)

Solving the education market’s friction – not its high tuition costs – was the greatest value creation opportunity. This was a highly credible role for Guild.

Guild earns revenue when an employee completes a program. This incentivizes them to help both sides of the market find each other and improve outcomes. That’s why Guild recruits educators, builds education programs with companies, markets these programs to employees, and supports participants throughout their education journeys – improving outcomes for all three parties. Guild is what economists call a “market maker.”

Retiring its “tuition finance company” framing and “tuition-free education” story, we worked with Guild to reconceptualize them as an “education market maker” with a clear purpose: to increase the socio-economic mobility of America’s low-wage workforce.

We signaled this change with a revamped brand identity, an inviting new voice and a populist, dynamic expression.

Forbes Magazine covers the story, here.

Team

  • Tom Elia
  • Mariah Bush
  • Taamy Amaize
  • L.A. Corrall
  • Rejane Dal Bello
  • Zuzanna Rogatty
  • Morgan Light
  • Barney Stepney
  • Darius Wang
  • Sanuk Kim
  • Emily Sneddon
  • Jump Jirakaweekul
  • George Lavender
  • Ryan Bugden
  • Beth Johnson
  • Jade Kuzak
  • Nicole Cousins
  • Eric Park
  • Alex Blumfelder
  • Shelby Shelman
  • Taylor Zahrt
  • Chris Roan
  • Alex Athanasiou